On Tuesday, a bank of seven members of the Supreme Court decided to send the president of the court the question of forming a new bank to hear the presidential reference against Judge Qazi Faez Isa.
This was decided after Judges Ijazul Ahsan and Sardar Tariq Masood were challenged from a seven-member bank, headed by Judge Umar Ata Bandial and composed of Judges Maqbool Baqar, Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Masood, Faisal Arab, Ahsan and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, listening to a set of requests that challenge the presidential reference.
"We had already decided that we will not sit on the bench," Judge Masood said.
"We have to keep the oath we made in all circumstances," said Judge Ahsan, explaining that he would not sit down to judge on "a brother judge of this court" after the "unfortunate" reservations about his bias expressed by the lawyer of the Judge Isa.
Judge Isa's lawyer, Muneer A. Malik, had asked the Supreme Court to form a complete bank of "capable judges," who are not members of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), to hear his client's request.
Malik, during his arguments today, had said that two judges had a "direct interest" in the case against Judge Isa.
"Any judge who has a personal participation in this case should not be linked to him," Malik said early today when the bank took the petition filed by Judge Isa on August 26 seeking the formation of a bank in court. "The judges whose interests are vested in this case should not be part of this bank."
Given this, Judge Bandial had asked: "What judge can be called partial?"
"I am not saying that no judge is partial," Malik replied.
"I want to assure you that none of the judges of this court is partial," Judge Bandial said in response. "Each judge of this court fulfills its duty in accordance with the law and the Constitution. None of the judges of this court have an interest in this case. By saying that [any] the judge is partial, you are going in the wrong direction. "
"We want to hear more arguments about the [alleged] bias of [judges]"Judge Bandial had said.
"The judges who will become president of the court [in future] have a personal interest, "Malik had said, adding:" Two judges, who are part of this bank, will become president of the court [in future]. Those two judges have a direct interest. "
Malik had argued that a judge "should not listen [a case] according to the code of conduct, if you have a direct interest. "
"This argument has been raised to protect the institution," he said.
However, Judge Bandial reprimanded him for "raising this objection at the beginning of the process," and added: "This objection will also impair people's confidence in the judiciary."
"A judge has the authority to get away from a bank. There are court rulings that say no judge can be forced to distance himself from a case," Judge Bandial said. "The judges have heard their point of view. They will make a decision themselves."
Later, Judge Bandial declared that the judges in question had refused the bank. Judge Ahsan was said to regret the accusation of bias against him, but despite that, he agreed to withdraw from the bench if that meant reassuring Judge Isa that there would be no bias against him.
The matter will now be sent to the President of the Supreme Court Asif Saeed Khosa, and the higher judge will decide whether a new bank should be formed or not.
Judge Isa calls & # 39; partiality & # 39;
Judge Isa, who is currently facing a reference of misconduct presented by the president against him at the SJC, in his request for the formation of a full court had argued that the entire court was necessary because the present case referred to a reference against the judge of the main court. and according to the precedent established in judge SC 2010 in the case of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.
In support of his argument, Judge Isa argued that the SJC "expressed prejudices" against him in his verdict on reference 427 (a second petition) and, therefore, lost his credibility to give him a fair hearing.
In his request, Judge Isa had said he was ready to face any reference if it was done in accordance with the law and property, but he regretted that he, his wife and children allegedly had been persecuted when the Holy Quran declared that the persecution was worse than death. The request had argued that the petitioner's wife and adult children were illegally monitored through intelligence devices and through the misuse of public funds.
The personal data, records and documents of the judge's wife and adult children were examined, examined, analyzed and analyzed, including the confidential record maintained by Nadra, the FIA, the Passport and Immigration Office, FBR and the Ministry of Interior, according to the request. Then, the information and the mismatched documents harvested were used to paint half-truths and gather a false reference when launching an insidious attack against the judge, he claimed.
The request also mentioned in detail the two meetings of the judge with the president of the Supreme Court of Justice and said that he did not raise these issues simply to assert his fundamental rights, but also because "something much more sinister was happening": the destruction of the independence of the judiciary at the hands of an executive who had exceeded the prescribed constitutional limits.
The petition asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the presidential reference for the sole fact that the plaintiff could not establish the allegations made against the judge as found by the council.
References against justice Isa
In May of this year a referral was instituted against Judge Isa accusing the judge of hiding his property in the United Kingdom, allegedly on behalf of his wife and children. Subsequently, the judge wrote three letters to President Arif Alvi, which finally leaked to the media, asking him to confirm if the reports were true.
The judge had complained that the selective leaks of the media reference amounted to his character murder, jeopardizing his right to due process and a fair trial. He had also searched for a copy of the reference.
Later, a lawyer from Lahore, Waheed Shahzad Butt, had submitted a second reference to the SJC against Justice Isa for writing those letters and filtering them to the media. In this second reference, presented under Article 209 of the Constitution, the judge was accused of violating the Judges' Code of Conduct. That reference has been dismissed.